… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

What I learned, or didn’t learn, at SHRM

Last week I was lucky enough to find myself at the SHRM 2010 Annual Convention. It was my first time attending and it was a fun last minute surprise. To be honest, I kind of felt like a party crasher the whole time but not because people didn’t make me feel welcome. Everyone I met from SHRM was nice, gracious, and helpful. Even better, I had a press pass so I was like official and everything. But before I get into what I feel I learned, or didn’t learn from the experience, here are some highlights:

– Double Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes. #Yummy
– When HR people get around other HR people they cut loose and get a little wild. Both in good and bad ways.
– I was on a boat MF’ers!
– San Diego weather is beyond perfect.
– Hanging with my #BFF, bugging the SHRM Blog Squad, and having fun with both old and new friends.
– Marcus Buckingham is both witty and cute. #LovesAccents
– One of the best things about the event is the networking opportunities. Don’t be shy. Talk to people around you in line, share cabs, and go to the networking events.

I won’t lie to you, it was a fun time. But out of all the seminars and speeches, here is what stuck out for me the most: It’s not enough to just make something available. If you want to make an impact, if you want to affect change, and if you truly want to demonstrate your commitment, you need to actively encourage participation and engagement. Whether it’s creating a “Great Place to Work” environment or a cohesive company culture, don’t just go through the motions and say the right things; Commit to it wholeheartedly, creatively, and without fear. What do I mean? Let’s use SHRM’s foray into social media as an example. For this convention, SHRM created a Blog Squad, designated a Social Media Lounge, partnered with Monster.com to host a tweetup, took advantage of Twitter hashtags (check out #SHRM10 for the back channel) and FourSquare check-ins. Pretty cool, huh? Considering that Curt Midkiff (shrmsocmedguy) put a lot of this together in a short amount of time it gets even cooler. However, and maybe I’m just a being greedy and spoiled, but I wanted to see more. Yes, SHRM was making the right gestures in regards to the emerging importance of Social Media, but I felt that the commitment was lacking. It was there and available, but that’s about all. The lack of marketing and awareness around what social media tools were available at the event was both upsetting and a missed opportunity.

I want to see SHRM really engage with and actively encourage participation in social media. And not just with those of us already doing it, though I think that could be improved as well. Even more, I want to see them not only encourage it but also fearlessly and creatively be a leader in the HR online community, instead of jumping on the bandwagon once it becomes clear that it’s not going away. SHRM has the opportunity and the authentic voice in the HR community to not only be a leader but also to prepare it’s members for the continuing impact social media will have on our work, culture, and world. Half measures just will not do, we need real commitment. To quote Beyonce, If SHRM likes it then it should put a ring on it.

3 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Jessica Miller-Merrell :


    Fantastic. Your title should have been “SHRM, put a ring on it.” While I am optimistic about SHRM’s advances most of us in the social media HR community are never just satisfied with sticking their toe in the water. I’m hopeful about their understanding in the necessity of wrapping their arms around this. Like any large corporation (because they are) there is lots of read tape and meetings before real change and acceptance can happen. I want to be a part of that catalyst for change and in a positive way. That’s what being at the conference was more about.

    Thanks for you and April to being my roomies at SHRM10!


  • 2 The Human Capital Vendor Space: Rants, Rulings and Ramblings by J. William Tincup, Starr Tincup | » The Carnival of HR – Post SHRM Breakdown :

    […] Shauna Moerke wants SHRM to engage and encourage participation in social media. This is a fantastic thought but the thing I can’t stop thinking about is the DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BACON CUPCAKE she mentions. WTF?!?! Checklist: Double? Super. Chocolate? Always good. Bacon? Goes with anything. Cupcake? Delicious. Best food ever? I’d like to find out. Send me some? […]

  • 3 Shauna :

    Jessica – OMG I totally should have used that title, that would have been perfect! Thanks for letting me crash in your room, it was fun hanging out with you again!